Tips and Guides on Choosing Best Potatoes for French Fries 2021
Are you wondering what are the best potatoes for french fries to cook for your family? If yes, you should read this blog. The blog spot will illustrate you to the best potatoes and several tips and guides on making french fries.
Nowadays French fries are very popular. The world leader in the production and consumption of French fries is China (20 million tons per year), followed by Russia (7 million tons) and the US (2 million tons). They can be bought at fast-food chains like McDonald’s, Burger King, KFC, and more.
In the US, French fries refer to all dishes of fried elongated pieces of potatoes. In other English-speaking countries, it is mostly used for a particular type that is crispier than most around the world, with an extra-crispy outer layer and soft inside.
Even among French fries, there are differences between American fries and European fries. But why do people always call this dish French fries? Is its origin from France? Before discovering what the best Potatoes for French Fries are, let’s learn more about French Fries.
What are French Fries?
French fries are a dish of deep-fried potato strips. French fries are usually salted just after being fried, or while they are hot. They can also have other spices, like pepper or paprika powder on top of them before serving.
They are served as a snack, side dish, or appetizer. You can serve French fries with ketchup or mayonnaise, but also with other dips like mustard, vinegar, and taco sauce.
The Origin of French Fries
To find out the best potatoes for French Fries, you should understand more about the origin of this dish to make it perfectly correct. French fries are believed to have originated in Belgium (which is where the French originate from).
However, there isn’t clear evidence that it actually came from there. It might just be an urban legend or somebody’s idea of putting Belgium on the map.
The American version of French fries was introduced by Thomas Jefferson while he was United States Minister at Versailles in 1789-90 when he tried them for the first time.
It has been rumored that Napoleon Bonaparte’s troops called fried potatoes “French,” though this theory is also disputed. Even though there aren’t any clear facts about how French fries were invented, they are still seen as American food.
There is a high chance that the origin of this recipe was somewhere else than in France or Belgium because French fries were very popular worldwide just 100 years ago. They are actually eaten all over the world today.
What do people eat with french fries?
Besides the origin, when choosing the best potatoes for French fries, you should also consider what other dishes in the meal you would serve with it. This will help you to balance the nutrition of your meal.
French fries go well with hamburgers and hot dogs. However, they can be served alone as a main dish too. You can put other ingredients on top of your French fries for a complete meal, like steak, cheese, bacon, vegetables, and seafood.
For a healthier version, you can combine them with chicken, fish, or tofu. And if you want something more exotic, you can mix it up with foods like pizza, noodles, or rice.
French fries are also used for some dishes that might sound unusual. For example, sweet potato French fries. These are fried just like regular French fries but they have a sweeter taste and more nutrients than their regular counterpart.
They are normally served as an appetizer at restaurants though you can cook them on your own if you prefer. You can put salt or pepper on top of sweet potatoes so they taste the same as regular ones do.
Other types of French fries include shoestring potatoes (very thin), crinkle-cut (wavy style), straight cut (bigger sized strips), and waffle fries (square-shaped).
What are the Best Potatoes for French Fries?
Making the ideal french fries is not difficult, but you must use the best potatoes for french fries. For instance, if you want to make baked french fries, it will be different than making fried french fries or even whipped potatoes.
You can certainly use russet potatoes, but there are also other choices that might better suit your purposes and style preferences.
Your first step should be to consider what kind of frying method you prefer. If you want to bake them and cook them yourself at home without using a deep fryer, then those types of potatoes won’t work as well as some others. Here’s a list of some great options:
Russet potatoes are the most popularly used potato for baking and mashing. It’s also used in many cuisines around the world because of its buttery flavor and creamy texture when cooked this way. Russets work really well when you want to make french fries.
They are sturdy enough to hold up well during the deep-frying process without falling apart on you when you remove them from the oil even if overcooked. These types of potatoes will absorb less grease than others fried, but they add a great flavor. This is the best potatoes for french fries in my opinion.
Yukon Gold Potatoes
Our favorite potato here on French Fry Freak is the Yukon Gold. Yukon Golds are great for baking, frying, or making any other type of recipe that requires potatoes. They’re even wonderful mashed.
The skin has a very thin layer so it’s not too tough to eat and the inside is nice and creamy. It’s ideal for almost any kind of cooking method including frying, microwaving, roasting, or boiling – just don’t overcook them or they’ll get mushy.
Red potatoes originate from Canada and have moist flesh, thin skin, and waxy texture which makes them perfect for low-fat dishes since they don’t absorb oil easily when frying or baking.
These potatoes work best when you’re aiming for a classic homey feeling on your dish and work great as a replacement for other kinds of potatoes.
Blue potatoes are the most nutritious potatoes you should choose for your French fries dish because they have less starch and more nutritional value than russet, red, or yellow ones.
They’re also versatile enough to be used in many dishes, from salads to soups, and can even substitute sweet potato in some recipes! No wonder why it’s becoming popular these days!
Yellow potatoes work well with a lot of dishes but if there’s one thing that makes them stand out it is their ability to absorb oil so they become incredibly crispy, which makes them perfect for fried dishes!
Of course, this doesn’t mean that you can eat them this way every day, since they are relatively high in carbohydrates. Sometimes, I choose this one as my best potatoes for french fries.
White potatoes are creamy and smooth that is why they’re perfect for creating scrumptious mashed potatoes! It’s also versatile enough to be used in many dishes, from salads to soups.
Why do you need the Best Potatoes for French Fries?
This question is one of the most commonly asked questions and yet it has a very interesting answer. The reason why this question comes up so often is that fries taste really great if they are done right.
However, not many people take into consideration that there is more than one way to skin a cat as they say; also potatoes cook differently depending on the season; the time at which you buy them (for example, late or early in the morning); and what type of potatoes you might be working with.
For instance: if you were using organic potatoes instead of regular ones, your resulting French fries would immediately change their color and flavor due to their lower starch content; this means that they will require less oil during frying and absorb less fat as well.
The variety of potatoes themselves makes a difference too (both in color and flavor): for instance red-skinned potatoes vs. russet; or even within the category of russets, “Western Russets” vs. “Atlantic Russets.”
The right way to use these distinctions is to choose the best potatoes for French fries depending on what you want your fries to be like: do you want them crispy? Regular? Thicker? Thinner? Lighter color or darker color etc.?
Also, it’s better if you don’t fry them twice in two different batches because this will definitely result in lower-quality French fries. If you are frying for others, it would be appropriate to tell them that they might come out differently than expected because of the potato itself; you should not blame the oil or the frying machine.
If you really want to understand why and how potatoes and oil work together and how they affect your fries, we recommend getting a few very good books on French Fries.
But if you don’t have them or access to them we can give you a brief explanation: The main goal when making French fries is to create an outer crust that will hold in all of those flavors just like a delicate container.
This means that allowing your potatoes to absorb as much oil as possible, then giving it enough time for this fat (oil) to penetrate into its core, will result in crispy French fries with fluffy inside.
Even though the type of potato you use will have a huge impact on this process, there is a simple rule to follow: if you want good fries, choose good potatoes.
What else do you need to make French Fries?
French fries are kind of like potatoes that have been cut into long, thin strips. Then they’re cooked in oil (or sometimes fat) until they’re crispy-crunchy. They’re super delicious and perfect for dipping in the sauce!
So besides the best potatoes for French Fries, what else would you need to cook this delicious side dish? Read on to discover more.
There are usually three ways to fry your French Fries: using your pan, using your deep fryer, or using your air fryer. Each way has its own benefits and drawbacks. Let’s figure out what method is suitable for you.
This is a classic method and the easiest way to fry French Fries.
Pour in enough cooking oil so that the fries will be submerged when frying. Then heat up your pan on medium heat until it just starts to smoke. To test if your pan is ready, add a drop of water into the oil.
If you see bubbles forming then it’s hot enough! This step is important because if you add your fries to a cold pan, they’ll stick together instead of being separated from each other which ruins their crispiness.
Another key point is not overcrowding your pan! If you put too many fries in at one time, you lower the temperature of your oil and this results in a sog-potato-disaster. It’s best to fry one large batch and then another batch.
It’s convenient because you can see the food cooking, plus it doesn’t take up space on your stovetop! You should use clean oil or fat (preferably high smoke points like peanut oil) for this method.
The temperature of the oil is very important because if it’s too low, French fries won’t cook through; even worse, it might cause oil leakage! If the temperature is too high, you’ll end up with dark brown fries that are burnt on the outside but still raw inside.
Choosing the best potatoes for French fries and then cook them in an air fryer is the best way to get a healthy dish for you. Be sure to monitor the temperature to keep it between 325˚F (160˚C) and 375˚F (190˚C) during the whole frying process.
This method is very convenient! Thanks to all of its circulating super-hot air, it will cook your food evenly on the inside and out so you don’t have to flip them over with a spatula or anything.
The temperature range for this cooking method is less than pan frying but more than deep-frying, about 175˚C to 200 ˚C (347˚F-392˚F). Plus, using little oil means that food is healthier! All you need is enough oil for coating the bottom of the basket that comes with your air fryer.
If you are using your pan or your deep fryer to make French fries, then the frying oil is also very important for your dish and your health. Not only the best potatoes for French fries, but every ingredient in a dish also will affect the taste and quality too.
High-quality oil will make sure that the French Fries are not too greasy and soft. When you fry potatoes for a long time, they will soak up more oil. This has to do with their size and water content (two factors that determine how much oil they’re going to absorb).
For instance: olive oil is very healthy, but it’s also very expensive and therefore not ideal for frying. Vegetable oil would make your fries too greasy. What is most suitable is sunflower or corn oil (popular in America).
You can use Peanut Oil if you like the taste better! But whatever you do, don’t use butter; it makes them taste great but burns easily causing black bits in your fries which isn’t very pleasant to eat. Butter can also clog your pipes if it goes down the sink, which is just one more reason not to use it.
For best results, let your oil heat up for a few minutes before adding the potatoes. The temperature of the oil determines how long you have to fry them: with higher temperatures, they’ll cook faster so keep an eye on them!
After they are done cooking, take them out with a slotted spoon and put them on some paper towel to absorb any excess oil.
Let’s not forget that the better quality potatoes are, the crispier they will be when you eat them; choose smooth potatoes (such as russet or Yukon Gold), NOT waxy ones like red or yellow potatoes. For tips on how to store your oil after you’re done with it, click here.
Salt is also a crucial ingredient to make your French Fries become a higher quality side dish. When making this fast food, there are different kinds of salt that you have to choose besides the best potatoes for French fries.
Here are some of them with their own pros and cons. I also add other spices information for you to know more.
It is a cheap way to provide the necessary sodium to French fries. However, it is not as tasty as sea salt or rock salt. Another disadvantage of table salt is that there are many unwanted substances in its content so your fries might become tasteless because of these ingredients.
On the other hand, Table Salt gives your French Fries a classic salty flavor which makes them taste more like traditional fries especially when you combine them with ketchup or mayonnaise.
Sea salt has high quality compared to table salt and rock salts because it doesn’t contain extra unnecessary substances. Moreover, it brings out the natural flavors of the food you use it on without making it too salty.
You can find this type of salt in thin or thin flakes. You just need to sprinkle it on your fries and that’s it!
If you want more natural and crispy French Fries, Rock salt is the best for this job. It has a rough texture which makes it perfect for frying potatoes. Plus, more people prefer its taste compared to table salt and sea salts because of its deliciousness.
If you use rock salt, make sure that they are already ground into more fine pieces such as the coarse method before using it as a seasoning agent.
The only disadvantage of rock salt is that if your guests or customers are sensitive to sodium chloride or anything related to sodium, this one might be not the right choice for them.
If you are thinking about adding flavor to your French Fries, you can add it after the cooking process or during frying.
This type of salt is known as the purest natural salt. It has no chemicals or additives so you can guarantee its cleanliness and healthiness. It also contains iodine which is good for your body especially if you don’t put any sauces on your fries.
It has a milder flavor compared to sea salt and table salt. It is best for frying French fries because of their texture, less sodium content and it brings out the natural taste of potatoes especially when you combine them with ketchup or mayonnaise.
The best salt combining with the best potatoes for french fries will result in the best dish.
There are some people who feel fine using rock salt and kosher salt in cooking their french fries but there are also some who prefer other ingredients such as garlic which makes their fries tastier than other kinds of salts.
If you add other spices such as pepper, your French Fries will surely be more delicious than other seasoned recipes.
Adding any kind of salt depends on what you like. Sometimes, adding other spices can help enhance the flavor of your French Fries.
However, it’s best to consider the healthiness of your food especially if you’re serving this for a living such as in restaurants and cafes.
After cooking is done, you can serve your French fries with dipping sauce if you want. Some people say that it would be a better taste for them when dipping fried food in sauces. Below are some sauces that you may consider when cooking french fries with its own review:
It is a kind of sauce that you can get in supermarkets, made from tomatoes, vinegar, molasses, or sugar. If you are using barbecue sauce on french fries, make sure to serve it immediately since the taste would be better before it turns sour.
Plus, use an extra plate when serving barbecue sauce with your foods because there are some customers who are allergic to food that had contact with sauces. Generally, if the amount of the barbecue sauce is not too much then it would taste very good.
Béarnaise sauce is one of the French sauces which has its origin in the Béarn region in France. It is commonly used for steak and steak tartare but you can also use it for your French fries. It has a very lovely smell and tastes very good.
But you need to make sure that the amount of sauce does not overpower the taste of fries because Béarnaise sauce is too strong on its own. This is the best sauce from my perspective. Your best potatoes for french fries will be boosted to a new level.
It is one of the traditional sauces from the UK made from milk, onions, wheat flour or ground rice, unsalted butter, and salt with some spices underneath such as turmeric, garlic powder, and nutmeg.
Bread sauce would go well with almost any fried food especially fries since it provides a weird experience for your tongue because of its mixture of being sour, salty, and creamy at once. You can use this sauce as a dip or pour it directly on french fries into an extra plate.
This sauce is very common worldwide, made from tomatoes, and includes onion, vinegar, or citric acid as its main ingredients with spices such as garlic powder, nutmeg, and sugar underneath to make it tastes better.
Ketchup would go well if you combine it with your fries especially those fast-food restaurants where ketchup is provided as a default dipping sauce because of the tangy and sour taste that actually matches perfectly with French fries.
You can also use barbecue sauce for this kind of combination but not everyone would like it.
This white creamy sauce is commonly used for sandwiches spread together with ham, cheese, seafood, and vegetables so why not try mayo on French fries? It’s a bit weird but you can actually eat French fries with mayo and it tastes good.
It has a creamy texture that would go well with the crispy texture of your fried potatoes, combined together will be an amazing taste.
Pesto sauce is very famous all over the world, originated from Genoa in northern Italy and its main ingredients are basil leaves, pine nuts, garlic and salt which you normally use to make pasta dishes such as spaghetti or fettuccine alfredo.
You can also try this sauce if you want a change on your french fries instead of ketchup or mayonnaise because pesto sauce has a very strong herbal flavor that would give a different experience for your tongue when combined with different flavors.
This sauce is originated from Thailand and has become one of the most popular sauces in Asia thanks to its spicy flavor that tastes really good when combined with fried foods such as French fries.
Hot sauce is always suitable for the best potatoes for french fries individually and fried foods generally.
Many people around Asia would put this sriracha sauce during their breakfast time since it goes well with steamed rice together with a sunny side up eggs, either way, it’s still good for your tongue because of the unique spicy taste which you can’t experience when eating other kinds of food.
Thousand Island Dressing
It is made from mayo and ketchup combined together with different spices such as chili pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder underneath for further flavors.
Thousand island dressing has a unique taste compared to other dipping sauces but it’s also a bit sweeter than the rest of them so you might not like it if you don’t like sweet food.
You can still try this sauce and dip your french fries into it and decide for yourself later on because everyone has a different preference when eating food.
Mayonnaise Wasabi is known as Japanese Mayo and it’s made from mayonnaise with wasabi paste underneath for spiciness, it’s commonly used as a dip for sashimi or sushi but why not use this kind of sauce on your French fries?
The taste of it might be too strong the first time you eat it but after several times then you will get used to its taste if you are one of those people who love eating spicy food.
This white creamy sauce is made from garlic and also has a strong herbal flavor just like pesto sauce, you can dip it with your French fries and the strong-flavored garlic inside will give some kind of zing to your tongue which you probably want to eat more.
You can try this one and compare it with pesto sauce and see which tastes better for you because everyone has a different preference when it comes to food.
Did You Know There Are Other Kinds of French Fries?
In addition to choosing the best potatoes for French fries, you should learn more about other different types of this food. It will enrich your knowledge and your recipes at home.
Most people think when you say french fries, you mean thin cut. However, there are other options available if you want to mix things up a bit! There are steak fries which are twice the size of classic fries and thicker cut.
Some restaurants serve wedge-cut french fries which are really easy to make at home too. These types of potatoes also have less starch because they’re peeled so it gives them a different texture than typical fries.
If you like your potatoes served in the shape of their homeland, order this fun option next time you hit up your favorite burger joint or fast food restaurant.
Waffle cuts are similar to steak fries but with more ridges so they have more surface area for seasoning. The waffles can absorb more oil during frying, making them much crispier than their thinner counterparts.
French Fries with Best Potatoes Recipes
Waffle Fries in Air Fryer
Here is a great option for eating French fries without deep-frying! This recipe for Waffle Fries in Air Fryer uses the little square waffles that are made just for air fryers. It is so simple to get crispy, flavored fries with almost no fat at all and they taste really good, too!!
Ingredients: Yields 6 servings (serving size 1 cup)
- 2 medium russet potatoes (one of the best potatoes for French fries)
- 1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
- Cooking spray
- Peel potatoes and cut them into shoestrings or matchsticks. Rinse under cold water until water runs clear. Add to the basket of an air fryer in batches; coat evenly with cooking spray.
- Sprinkle potatoes with salt and pepper. Set the air fryer temperature to 200 degrees F for a crispy result, or 180 degrees F for a softer finish. Air-fry for 10 minutes, shaking once during cooking time.
- You can certainly use your own favorite seasoning blend if you prefer instead of the kosher salt and ground black pepper.
- I would recommend using only one type of seasoning as opposed to combining two different ones. So if it’s garlic powder you want, use only garlic powder (no herbs), etc.
- If you do not have an air fryer, these fries can be baked in a conventional oven at 400 degrees until golden brown and crisp on the outside, about 20 minutes total baking time, turning over halfway through cooking time.
Steak Fries in Air Fryer
- 3 medium potatoes (washed and dried), you can choose any of the best potatoes for french fries that I have listed above.
- 1 teaspoon of paprika
- 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon of onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder
- Cut each of the washed and dried potatoes into equally sized strips or wedges.
- Take care not to cut them too thick, if they’re thicker than a finger you should slice them down. The thinner they are, the crispier they will get in the end. Season them with all the spices listed above on both sides.
- You may want to add some more onion or garlic powder at this point for a stronger taste if so desired.
- Put all the fries into your basket of the air fryer. Make sure they are spread out evenly in one layer, if not you may need to cook them in two batches. Cook them at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for fifteen minutes.
- Halfway through cooking them take the basket out and shake it around to flip all fries over at once. Finish cooking for another ten minutes. Serve while hot with ketchup or ranch dressing!
FAQ about Best Potatoes for French Fries
Which type of potato is best for French fries?
The most popular potatoes for French fries are Russet, but Yukon Golds are also suitable.
Are yellow potatoes the same as Yukon Gold?
No, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. The agency uses the term “Yukon Gold potatoes” for a different cultivar that has yellow flesh.
It’s important to know this because consumers are often led astray by misleading labeling terms on store shelves.
A quick look around might convince shoppers that, yes, golden russet and Yukon Golds are just two names for the same potato variety. That’s not true at all.
Are Yukon Gold potatoes good for frying?
The Yukon Gold variety of potato is a favorite for many people. They offer both an appealing taste and texture when eaten. Yukon potatoes are also known for their versatility, which includes frying.
These tubers fry up nicely in several types of oil because they have relatively low water content. However, the type of oil you use to fry your potatoes will impact how healthy or unhealthy they are after preparation.
What are Russet potatoes best for?
Russet potatoes are best for frying or baking.
Can I use Idaho potatoes instead of russet?
If you’d like to use Idaho potatoes instead of russet, we recommend you try substituting a similarly shaped and sized potato. You may need to adjust the cooking time and/or the amount of milk and butter used to achieve the best results.
What is the difference between white and russet potatoes?
Both of them are the best potatoes for french fries. White potatoes have a thinner skin and are drier, waxy, and more floury after cooking. Russet potatoes have a brown-skinned exterior that is difficult to peel, with a dry texture that breaks up easily while cooking.
They’re best for baking or frying. The main difference between white and russet potatoes is in their textures after being cooked. White potatoes are fluffier because they’ve got less starch than russets.
This means that there’s less binding of water molecules within the cells of the potato flesh when it cooks–meaning more steam escapes during the process leading to a fluffier tuber at the end. If you like fluffy mashed potatoes, cook them using white potatoes instead of russets!
What kind of potatoes does Mcdonald’s use for their French fries?
McDonald’s uses Russet Burbank potatoes to make their famous French fries.
Why Soak potatoes for french fries?
Soaking the potatoes in water before frying them is an important step for several reasons. It helps to reduce the starch content of the potatoes, which results in crispier fries with less oil absorption.
Soaked potatoes also don’t stick together as much as unsoaked ones do when deep-frying. This means that it is easier to monitor their cooking progress because they can be gently stirred during frying to make sure they brown evenly all over.
Final Thought about Best Potatoes for French Fries
If you want fries that are crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, it’s important to choose a good potato. The best potatoes for french fries will give you the best fries that you are waiting for.
There are many other aspects of making great fries that I have covered in this article and it would be a shame if anyone tried to cook them without knowing all the details! Besides talking about the best potatoes for french fries, I also mention other factors like frying oil, salt, and several types of dipping sauce.
For more information on these topics, please follow our blog or read through some of our other articles.